- Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:43 am
it was around the time lady di and the iron lady were taking note of their post.
parcels from up north were piquing the highest interest.
'hey. hey... it's time to get up' he said, shaking me.
I awoke to someone I thought was my da. it was not.
"what time is it?"
"fucking hell... where are we?"
'you just answered your own question...glasgow.'
"ah, for fucks sake..." I groaned.
I sat up and had a look around. the place was a lot filthier in the daylight.
I couldn't remember how long ago we arrived nor how long I'd been asleep but I was already looking forward to leaving.
he pulled open the curtains and let the full light in... well as much sunlight as you can get in the pissing scottish rain.
the curtain rod fell from the wall. laughing to himself and cracking the window slightly, he sat upon the sill and lit a cigarette.
'what day is it?' he asked.
"shit, man... until two minutes ago I didn't even know where the fuck I was" I answered "so my guess is... I'm inclined to say 'winter'."
'sometimes you make me laugh, lad' he said rather straight-faced 'it's july. it's the fourth of july. independence day elsewhere, I believe.'
"well bully for us..." I said in my best crisp british accent. but I sounded common for some reason.
'so how many weeks since the ninth of april?'
"twelve exactly" I said, still not knowing how the hell I knew that.
'perfect' he smiled 'absolutely perfect. get yourself dressed and grab your passport.'
"which one?" I asked.
'the blue one' he said 'today we're from a place called ottawa.'
"so where are we going?" I asked as we walked down the stairs.
"from the inside or outside?"
'ha ha... outside, lad. we're always on the outside... even when we're in.'
I thought about that for a moment.
I also thought about britain abolishing the death penalty back in 1965.
why I knew this I had no idea. I must have read it somewhere.
we left the flat in the same shit state we found it.
the only difference being, this time, it was going up in flames.
as we got onto the street he casually banged on the door next to the flat. when the old jock answered he was brought outside and shown the billowing smoke escaping through the window and told to ring the fire brigade.
I stood outside watching the fire take hold as he followed the man inside... only to emerge with his car keys.
'time to go, son' he said 'it's that one... get in.'
we got into the bedford van. it stunk of old piss and dust.
'oh, this will do nicely...' he said 'full tank of petrol and perfect for our application.'
"and what's that?" I asked.
'why, death row of course' he joked, studying the a to z and driving like he was blind.
we approached the grey concrete compound on the outskirts of town.
it was 9am and they were just now accepting visitors. two burly guards waved us through a succession of gates and we were told to park in the lot.
I thought there'd be more people there but it seemed like we were the only ones. we exited the van and hurried under the canopy, away from the horizontal wind and rain.
'wait there and someone will be with you in a minute.' we were told.
the arsonist lit another cigarette and looked up at the sky.
'today is going to be a strange one. I'll need you to hold your nerve, lad.'
"I'll be just fucking fine." I declared, basing my bold statement on my last adventure and yet not quite remembering exactly what or when that was.
I just wanted to get out of there. the place reeked of death. and shit.
just when I thought we were forgotten a guard came along and opened the steel door.
''so what can I do for ye?'' I thought he asked. the fellow sounded like an idling lawnmower.
'take us to the end of the line' he said 'right down the bottom by the incinerators... we want to see 'lucky last'.'
"as ye wish, come along now...'' the guard reverberated.
the last time I'd been in a place so loud and unruly it was in the shape of an aitch. and I remembered it was so deafening I wanted to stab myself in the ears. luckily for those in h block you wouldn't have to wait too long for such a perforation.
when we got to the last cell the guard rolled 'there he is. I'll ask you dinnae put your hands anywhere near the bars.'
I looked down at this mongrel. he looked like a mixture of alsation, doberman and clydesdale. all height, girth and teeth.
he growled at my partner but just stared at me. I frowned back at him indifferently and he looked away.
'well what can you tell us about him?' he asked the guard whom we were now asked to call 'jimmy'.
from what I could gather amongst jimmy's arrs and wees was that this dog was roughly nine years old, had been terribly abused and had been there roughly three months. his name was charlie and he had gained roughly four stone since being held. basically, he was rough.
charlie had bitten no less than three other guards and it was only at the persistence of this guard jimmy he lasted as long as he had.
he was to be put down the following day. today was charlie's lucky day.
'we'll take him' he said, much to jimmy's delight 'a well earned responsibility for the young lad here.'
'I'll get the paperwork ready, have ye any identification?' he asked as he skipped to get the paperwork. I reckon he would have given us the dog on a promise of who we'd said we were but as of today I was from ottawa... wherever the hell that was.
'oh... a canadian!' he said rather excitingly 'I've a brother in nova scotia.'
'well you would, wouldn't you?' my friend mused.
'aye... perhaps ye know him' jimmy joked back.
I was starting to like this jimmy. I like what he did. perhaps I'd been wrong about these jacobites.
we went through the paperwork as quickly as we could. six quid and twenty for a next to dead dog in scotland.
jimmy recorded someone else's details before he handed me the lead attached to this growling disaster. I told charlie to shush and he did.
jimmy thought I had magic powers. my partner knew better.
and charlie wouldn't look at me. the initial glance was all I warranted.
jimmy stacked the papers whistling some tune I couldn't recognise and led us to the exit.
he muttered some nonsense about knowing charlie would go well and god would be with me.
my partner, again, knew better.
when we got back into the van I told him I didn't want a dog.
'the dog is not for you' he said 'the dog is for me. until it's time for him to be another's.'
"well I can't see how some fucking mutt is going to help anything" I growled, much like our charlie dog "we've better things to do than traipse around this shitehole of a city... we need to get back to ulster. there's more important issues at hand."
'no need to preach to the converted, lad' he said 'we'll be back soon enough. but we can't return without the information. without the information we need we stand little chance of surviving the next leg. there's people counting on us. and there's others paying us."
upon reflection, perhaps he actually knew best.
"right... so what do we do now?" I asked.
'plantation street' he said, looking at the street map again 'west side... down by the docks.'
"what about this food? it stinks to high heaven... shall I give it to the dog?'' charlie was sleeping. and not well, kicking and whining in his sleep.
'today he goes hungry, lad. fuck it out the window.'
I didn't need to be told twice.
I watched raw meat bounce down the cobblestones into the gutter. the rats would make short work of what was probably rat meat. I smiled to myself thinking about it.
we pulled up outside what I'd loosely describe as a squat. as if squat had more to do with shit. this place was crawling with death and disease.
I toyed with the idea of staying in the motor.
'right. grab that dog and come with me.' I was told as we came to a full stop.
charlie woke up frightened and immediately growled at us. and then, realising his mistake very quickly, at him.
I grabbed the lead and led him out the sliding side door.
we walked into this old warehouse that had been converted into council flats after the war.
there was graffiti everywhere; mostly consisting of curses and celtic/ranger rivalry and I wondered how many, if any, attended the matches.
the hallway was strewn with syringes, vomit and piss and led to four doorways.
I was told we wanted what was behind door number three.
arriving at the door I was instructed to wait just short. the dog started to growl and I pulled on his lead silencing him to a slight droning.
knock knock... knockknockknock.
someone groaned something unintelligible from behind the door.
'it's me, stuart' he said in his best brogue. I always had admired how he could do that. his indian was fucking hilarious. 'I've got the shite.'
I heard something move from the door and it opened up to its chain. with that our man put his foot through the door and went inside.
'where's stuart?' he shouted 'where the fuck is he?... you've less than one minute to tell me what I need to know, you fucking junkie bastard.'
"fuck you, ya cunt ye..."
a couple smacks and I heard him ask again 'where is he?' a couple more smacks. I thought if he punched him he'd kill him judging by the waste in the hallway. I would've been apprehensive to place my hands upon this degenerate but my friend had to have this information if we were to return with what they needed.
"ye can get to fuck, ya paddy bastard." the junkie cried. I was dying to see what this fucker looked like but knew better to abandon my post. we worked like a finely tuned watch when we did what we were told.
I heard what I imagined being drawers opened and shut.
'this is it, isn't it?' I heard him shout.
"no... that's no' him." he cried.
'it is, you fucking sack of shit. I know it is. this is the place.'
'it is. and I'm going to tell him you told us.'
"aye... no' if I get to him first, you canny cunt. you've nae idea what will happen to ye cunts." he seethed.
'heh heh' he laughed, and then I heard him say as he'd said before... 'I don't think you understand the situation.'
and with that he came into the hallway and grabbed the lead from my hands.
'make your way back to the van, lad.'
I backed away to turn and hopscotch my way through the hall when he took the dog into the flat.
'do you remember this fellow, you fucking smackhead?' I heard him say. 'have at it, jessie!'
"ah noooo... no! no!''
I had never in my life heard carnage like what was to come. there was no barking.
just banging, growling and screaming. blood curdling screaming. I swear I also heard someone being thrown from wall to wall.
and then it just stopped. all I could hear was cloth ripping.
I jogged back to the van forgetting the dodging pattern, crushing needles and tennent cans in my wake.
ten seconds later he joined me in the passenger seat noticing I had already started the motor.
'right. let's go, lad. fast as you like.'
"did you get want you needed?" I asked.
"that and more, son. that and more..."
my companion was covered with blood and what looked like bits of skin.
"where's charlie?" I asked.
'jessie you mean.'
fuck me. I thought his name was charlie.
'fuck it then. where's the god damned dog?' I asked again.
"it's funny you should refer to him as that as that's exactly what he's become. he's done for, lad. something like that never comes back.'
"what the fuck are you on about, man?" I asked, trying to remember my way back to the city centre.
'you see...' the cc said as he wiped the blood from his face and lit a cigarette 'that dog's switch has been flipped. there's no going back for that dog. literally and figuratively. that dog was already dead when we picked him up. and if anyone should be able to understand that... anyone... I would've thought of it being you.'
Last edited by austrotard on Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
we'll always have buffalo, sweet josh.